Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Thaibebop
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Thaibebop » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:03 am

I am relaying on my memory but I believe there is a allegory in Buddhist literature about luring children out of a burning house who refuse to leave. The parent offers them toys, I think, even though there are none and that tricks them out of the house. Now, one might argue that the parent lied, but the children are safe. I believe this was meant to suggest that it is more important to get the Dharma in to people's minds rather than holding it away. Why would it matter how one came to hear the Dharma, as long as they heard it.

I admit I am not always at ease with how Buddhism is depicted in America, but the fact that anyone here is talking about it seems to be an improvement.

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Mr Man
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Mr Man » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:04 am

Cittasanto wrote:but to ignore that there is a money making industry in any religion with talismans or other religious object and to suggest that it is the same as, or a reason they shouldn't complain about depicting the imagery on underwear or as part of a commercial establishment which operates in ways completely against the teachings of the group to which it is associated is also naive


But to clarify I did not "suggest that it is the same as, or a reason they shouldn't complain about depicting". My point was that it is not just Buddhism which receives a lack of sensativity and that all societies are capable of showing insensativity.

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Mr Man
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Mr Man » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:02 pm

Thaibebop wrote:I am relaying on my memory but I believe there is a allegory in Buddhist literature about luring children out of a burning house who refuse to leave. The parent offers them toys, I think, even though there are none and that tricks them out of the house.
That would be the Lotus Sutra.

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Doshin
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Doshin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:15 am

gavesako wrote:This is relevant article on this theme:

Opening the Door to the Dhamma
Respect in Buddhist Thought & Practice
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

...
Reading the first post, I would think the theme was: (dis)respect by those not following Buddhist Thought & Practice

I see my own reaction on others dis-respect, as reflection on Maras poisoned arrows that shoots towards me... Where/who gives rise to the offended'nes ?
Knowing about dhamma, does not imply knowing dhamma

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by gavesako » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:05 pm

But if the prevailing image among Western non-Buddhists is that "Buddhists do not worship gods or external symbols, they only cultivate the mind internally" which might also be associated with the striking story about the Zen master burning the Buddha statue, then it might lead to an incorrect understanding about Buddhism as whole and, as in the many examples mentioned above, people will do things involving Buddhist symbols without really expecting that any followers of Buddhism would mind.

See also this interesting article on new developments in the police forces:
Mr Watts said his members did not follow one particular tradition of Buddhism and so would not all want to take the same festivals off work, however, nor were there any plans to create shrines or Buddha groves in police stations.
In total it is estimated that there are just 150,000 Buddhists – who believe in gaining spiritual knowledge about the true nature of life and do not worship gods – in Britain.
But as well as gaining popularity among police officers, Buddhism is also one of the fastest-growing religions in jails.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... olice.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In the jails, though, there has been an effort to set up Buddha groves with statues that inspire peacefulness.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Sylvester
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Sylvester » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:46 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Image
Brahma-deva in front of Caesers Palace, Las Vegas
That's not just any Brahma-deva, but believed in Thailand to be Brahma Sahampati. I wonder why Caesers installed a shrine to him?

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by gavesako » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:33 pm

That is simple: The four-faced Brahma is a symbol of good luck and prosperity on the worldly level. Nothing to do with Buddhism particularly.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by gavesako » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:40 pm

Buddhists March in Bangkok to Speak Out to the World to Stop Disrespecting Buddha
The KnowingBuddha Foundation is preparing a major march in Bangkok on 30 June, to show their respect for Buddha and to show how so many are disrespecting Buddha.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012 ... 635673.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Mr Man
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Mr Man » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:48 pm

It's not going to be much of a march if it is just down Khao San Road. It will be over in 5 minutes!

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by gavesako » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:53 pm

But the CNN might take notice of it that way... :soap:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Thaibebop
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Thaibebop » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:03 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Thaibebop wrote:I am relaying on my memory but I believe there is a allegory in Buddhist literature about luring children out of a burning house who refuse to leave. The parent offers them toys, I think, even though there are none and that tricks them out of the house.
That would be the Lotus Sutra.
Ah, thank you. :namaste:

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Thaibebop
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Thaibebop » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:13 pm

gavesako wrote:Buddhists March in Bangkok to Speak Out to the World to Stop Disrespecting Buddha
The KnowingBuddha Foundation is preparing a major march in Bangkok on 30 June, to show their respect for Buddha and to show how so many are disrespecting Buddha.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012 ... 635673.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There is something about this that worries me. While Buddhism is vastly different form Abrahamic religions many of the more militant forms of these religions have their foundation in a belief that their faith is under attack and being disrespected. This foundation seems to be starting down this road. Who will hear of their movement? Why should they care about their desires? Trying to control what other people do goes against everything I have learned from Buddhism, so why are they bothering. Also, if no one listens, what then? It seems better to simply teach those closer to their community these values and let the rest of the world come around in time. With so many people witnessing religious violence and hatred from the Abrahamic religions many are tried and looking for other sources of strength. Wouldn't Buddhism be one of those that they turn to?

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cooran
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by cooran » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:59 pm

Buddhists March in Bangkok to Speak Out to the World to Stop Disrespecting Buddha
The KnowingBuddha Foundation is preparing a major march in Bangkok on 30 June, to show their respect for Buddha and to show how so many are disrespecting Buddha.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012 ... 635673.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I think this is very likely to cause mainly negative, not positive, reactions in for those reading about or seeing the ''parade'' - and turn away from Buddhism those who had been interested in learning more about it.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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reflection
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by reflection » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:03 pm

Now how about poor Ananda? :D

http://www.60by80.com/madrid/bars-clubs/ananda.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sylvester
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Post by Sylvester » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:35 am

gavesako wrote:That is simple: The four-faced Brahma is a symbol of good luck and prosperity on the worldly level. Nothing to do with Buddhism particularly.
That may be true, Bhante, but practically all the Thai Buddhists I am acquainted with, know how to distinguish this particular Buddhist Brahma from the Puranic Brahma. Granted that the Thai Buddhists I know are more well read, and they identify this Brahma as Sahampati (well documented in the Vinaya and SN). Still, the distinction does exist, and it does not serve any purpose to paper over the Thai Buddhist belief that devas and brahmas from the Pali Canon do fulfill a supplicatory role in worldly matters. And unless one argues that the Pancabali Sutta were a spurious addition into the AN by back-sliding Buddhists/Hindu infiltrators, the Pali Canon does have teachings for lay people who are not very into Nirodha.

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